Our management approach proceeds directly from our thinking pattern. And, our thinking pattern has remained unchanged for over twenty-five hundred years. The traditional thought which is still animating us today is turned towards the past and is characterized by a mechanical vision of things and events. We have adopted an analytic rational world of discovery where it seems essential to find the absolute truth before we do anything. It is also a world of domination where excessive competitiveness is shadowing the cooperation so essential to our personal and corporative successes and where judgments leave no room to exploration. Slowly, our traditional thought has confined us within hierarchical structures inducing internal competition which tends to control persons rather than results. Finally, this materialistic approach has substantially reduced the impact of the vital and immaterial forces at the origin of our thoughts and lives. As a result, most organizations are considered as “things” and their cells – the humans – are also treated as “things”. But, the 5E – Effectiveness, Efficiency, Economy, Ethic and Environment – are the result of complex living systems, not “things”.
Our traditional management model is about to change. Microbiology and Quantum Physics have completely changed our vision of reality. Microbiology now tells us that survival of the fittest is not the result of competition but that of cooperation. Quantum Physics made us realize that objectivity is a mirage and that analysis is no longer an appropriate tool to understand complex systems. Quantum Physics and Microbiology also made us realize that the networking immaterial interrelations between the particles, atoms, molecules, cells and organs are playing a more strategic role than the material components themselves. We now know that we belong to a none deterministic world of possibilities where each person has the power to create its own future. And, surprisingly, the way to fashion that future is simple and accessible to all; it consists in using, as positively as possible, the set of vital forces and processes at the origin of thought and life.
Surprisingly, the new sciences have allowed us to realize that human organizations are living organisms having humans as cells and that the forces and processes that give them life are the same as those governing our own lives. And, everyone knows that nothing can perform any better than a living organism.
It becomes urgent that we recognize these facts and that we start treating human organizations as authentic living organisms; the only way for our organizations to reach the level of effectiveness, efficiency, economy, ethic and respect of the environment that our world so badly needs.
In a world of subjectivity and possibilities such as the one proposed by Quantum Physics, there is a need for an important change of paradigm. We need to adopt a well balanced and comprehensive thinking process. Our thinking patterns must be structured to equally handle all of the opposite forces and processes involved: past and future, analysis and systematization, fragmentation and wholeness, certainty and possibility, judgment and exploration, discovery and creativity, description and action, competition and cooperation, domination and partnership, stability and change, hierarchy and networking, a reality issued from different perceptions. Quality management can only be obtained through a thinking pattern that is rational and intuitive, foreseeable and prospective, secure and evolutionary. In addition to the traditional thought characterized by rationality, prediction and security, a comprehensive thought must integrate the intuitive, prospective and evolutionary elements. And surprisingly, our Mother Nature has already invented a system which integrates all those characteristics: it is known as the psychosomatic network.
Men psychosomatic network with its immune, nervous and endocrine systems could become the ultimate management model of human organizations. Such a model inspired by Mother Nature would inevitably take the organizations out an artificial world of “things” to let them into a living world of participation, information and possibilities.
1.- A WORLD OF PARTICIPATION
We belong to a living world of participation characterized by interrelations, cooperation and networking communications. A world where integrity, empowerment and commitment of the members are so powerful that the organizations respecting those values see themselves carried to the highest summits.
A) Personal Interrelations
The nature and quality of the personal relations that we build over time is what can help us most to shape our future and guarantee our success. The relations between the particles or between the cells are more important than the particles or the cells themselves.
QUALITY PERSONAL INTERRELATIONS WILL ALLOW YOUR ORGANIZATION TO ACHIEVE OUTSTANDING RESULTS: INDIVIDUALISM WILL NEVER DO.
B) Internal Cooperation
In our traditional way of thinking, COMPETITION has been identified as the only survival tool. And because we believed so, we acted as such and made it become a reality. Nowadays more and more scientists believe that to the contrary “Survival of the fittest” is the result of COOPERATION, not competition.
INTERNAL COOPERATION WILL MAKE YOUR ORGANIZATION ATTAIN UNRIVALLED EXTERNAL COMPETITION.
In a world of participation where a free flow of energy and information is essential to our survival, Mother Nature has chosen NETWORKING as the best communication and auto-organizational tool and process. A vast majority of people who are scared to lose control over their peers have unfortunately not yet recognized the extraordinary power of networking: they still think that hierarchy alone can do the job.
NETWORKING WILL FUEL YOUR ORGANIZATION TO SUMMITS THAT HIERARCHIES COULD ONLY MAKE YOU DREAM OF.
2.- A WORLD OF INFORMATION
The word INFORMATION has been defined in several different ways. For most people, it refers to news, knowledge or facts. For others, it refers to signals, messages or data. In any case, the use of the word information is most often linked to the material aspect of it. We much less often refer to the none-material or “pure energy” aspect of it. For the management of organizations, we refer to the none-material or “pure energy” aspect of it.
LET YOUR ORGANIZATION BENEFIT FROM A FREE FLOW OF ENERGY AND INFORMATION AND YOU WILL OBTAIN SURPRISING RESULTS.
A) Mission control
Most organizations have clearly stated their mission in their last strategic plan and/or annual report and a majority of their executives thought that it was mission accomplished. But, the work was just starting. Adopting a mission statement is the easy part. Every member must believe in that mission and adhere to it. It is the only way for the organization to attain its targets. To succeed, the organization needs a real mission control like the one from NASA. Remember, perception is different to everyone. Every member of the organization has its own perception and understanding of that mission. It is important that they all interpret it in the same way. The organization meaning is expressed mainly through its mission statement. The mission statement is what gives a sense for the organization to be there.
GET YOUR MISSION KNOWN BY ALL MEMBERS: THEY ARE THE ONES THAT CAN MAKE YOUR MISSION BECOME A REALITY.
B) Culture Management
The culture comes as a result of a strong identity, a set of values shared by the majority and a particular way of doing things which characterizes the organization. And having a strong culture is essential to the success of the organization. It is what makes every member go in the same direction. In a world of objectivity where it is believed that there is one reality for all, we do not see the necessity for adopting a process identified as “Culture Management”. We believe that the culture can easily be imposed from the top down to all levels of the organization without any special effort. But, we now know that we are not living in an objective world; rather, we belong to a subjective world where everyone forges his own reality. Perception is unique to each observer: it is through perception that individuals create their own reality. It depends on what the observer is interested in. It can also vary substantially from time to time for any given observer or between different observers depending on the emotions of the moment and on the time invested to the act of observation and process in use: Stereotyping VS True cognition. So, perception and culture are interrelated forces that need to be managed.
CULTURE IS WHAT WILL MAKE YOUR PEOPLE GO IN THE SAME DIRECTION: IT NEEDS TO BE MANAGED.
C) Creativity Empowerment
Members must be invited to develop their creativity and to put it to the service of the organization. “Imagination is more important than knowledge” said Einstein. “Imagination rules the world” said Napoleon Bonaparte. Life is mostly about creation. Living organisms innovate all the time. Not only does it allow them to survive but to create new species better adapted to the environment. Could humans pretend to be alive and not be creative? To copy on others is not sufficient. In a fast changing world, those who are not imaginative and creative enough may not survive for a very long time. Creativity is certainly one of the most important elements of life because it is the one that helps us most to fashion our future. It is, in fact, one of the most powerful survival tools that exist.
COLLECTIVE CREATIVITY IS WHAT WILL HELP MOST YOUR ORGANIZATION TO STAY ALIVE.
3.- A WORLD OF POSSIBILITIES
Our constant search for certainties comes from our belief in objectivity. In a world of “things”, we believe that there is a truth out there and that it is not possible for us to take action on anything until we find that truth. When we do a study, we invest most of our energies in finding the truth through analysis/ description/ judgment and put minimal efforts if any, to look at the possibilities for the future through an exploration/ creativity/ design approach. But, we do not belong to an objective dead world, we pertain to a living world of subjectivity where possibilities abounds. We belong to a world of possibilities where appropriate actions can only come though realistic expectations, intelligent emotional feedback and spontaneous adaptations.
A) Expectation Management
Expectation Management is the process that initiates the exploration of new possibilities. It is through the Expectation Management process that new realities will eventually emerge for better or for worse, that new frontiers will be discovered and that a new future will be created by the participants in presence.
Complex living systems like humans who are conscious of the time dimension, nourish dreams and have visions and goals for their own future. Expectations from others upon them are just as important as their own expectations: the two are intimately interlinked. These bi-directional expectations can reveal themselves as very fruitful or deadly depending on their degree of attainability. Expectations which are met most of the time will ensure survival and bring satisfaction, health and growth. Conversely, continuous unrealistic expectations may lead slowly but surely to chronic stress, distress and disease.
REALISTIC COLLECTIVE EXPECTATION IS WHAT WILL FUEL YOUR ORGANIZATION TOWARDS A BETTER FUTURE.
B) Risk Management
We unfortunately consider our Inner worlds as “things”. In a world of “things”, the attacks necessarily come from outside. This is the reason why our laws are written to protect us from the Outer World almost exclusively. It is for the same reason that our Inner Worlds – organizations, governments, societies, countries, etc… consider only risks that come from the outside. Our Inner Worlds are not prepared to cope with risks that come from within. And most of last decades’ frauds have come from within. The risk management systems that exist are not adapted to the complex living world. These systems presume that the attacks can only come from outside. Our organizations need well adapted systems that can detect both Inner and Outer World attacks and responds to them immediately.
RISK MANAGEMENT IS TO ORGANIZATIONS, WHAT EMOTIONAL FEEDBACK AND IMMUNITY ARE TO INDIVIDUALS. RISK MANAGEMENT IS ESSENTIAL TO ORGANIZATIONS’ SURVIVAL.
C) Change Management
Our current organizations are structured for stability, not for change. When an environmental change occurs, they are destabilized. In our fast changing world, our organizations need to adapt quickly to new environments. The existence of the “Change Management” functionality has now become more strategic than the “Planning” functionality.
CHANGE IS INEVITABLE: IT MUST BE MANAGED PROPERLY
Finally, Mother Nature has also found the ideal solution to our ecological and environmental problems. Complex living systems are already making a judicious ecological use and economic management of their material resources. Complex living systems use material resources exclusively as a source of energy and information to maintain their own life and the life of their environment: nothing else. We can easily imagine that living organizations that would have the same characteristics as those of complex living systems would obtain the same ecological and economic results. And their cells – the humans – would be the first to benefit from this new behaviour.
Our will to reach the highest levels of performance and ethic will necessarily transport our leaders towards a new management model for which only Mother Nature is inspirational enough. This inevitable mutation will oblige our leaders to adhere to an unprecedented respect of life and management rigorousness.